In the heart of enemy territory, no less.
The Boston Red Sox manager is scheduled to be a weekly guest on ESPN radio in New York City with Yankees' TV broadcaster Michael Kay. Valentine's first appearance came on Wednesday.
What the what? The skipper of the Red Sox gets a part-time job and it's on the Evil Empire's front lawn? Say, did FDR regularly appear as a guest on "Good Morning, Munich" during World War II?
But yes, this is really happening. Valentine's first nugget: He told critic Curt Schilling to "Don't make stuff up." OK, maybe such a retort is not that interesting to Yankees fans. But the world has more in it than Yankees fans, right? Valentine, who is not afraid to attract attention in unusual ways, has said he doesn't see what the big deal is.
"Why, there aren't any Boston fans in New York?''
In the first episode, Kay tried to bait Valentine several times, making references to various Red Sox spring controversies — real, imagined, media-enhanced and otherwise. And Valentine bit on one, reacting to comments made by Curt Schilling that he's already alienating Red Sox players. WEEI radio in Boston took notes:
"I never saw them, I heard about them and I basically think it's irrelevant," Valentine said. "Because it's something about something he's knows nothing about, obviously. He never played for me, he's never been in uniform for me and he hasn't been in the clubhouse during the spring. … Don't make stuff up."
As for Schilling's motivation, Valentine pointed to the former Sox pitcher's relationship with former Sox manager Terry Francona.
"I know that he was Tito's main guy," Valentine said. "And maybe it goes back to them in that position and maybe he wants to make sure that things don't go well. Who knows?"
As self-serving as Valentine might appear at times, perhaps the Red Sox could use a lightning rod for a manager who takes some attention off the players and puts it on himself. Josh Beckett, John Lackey and friends might be grateful.
As for doing a show on New York radio, Valentine has plenty of ties to the city, having managed (and played for) the Mets. And he worked for ESPN before getting back into managing. And BoSox story lines inevitably tangle with Yankees ones. And there are, no doubt, Red Sox fans in New York. And even though some say they don't care, other Yankees fans will pay attention to what Valentine says. And, because of the Internet, it doesn't necessarily matter where a radio show originates — people will listen. So an argument could be made that it makes sense for Valentine to have a New York show.
But it's still weird, which actually makes it a very Bobby Valentine thing to do.
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- Bobby Valentine
- Curt Schilling